Other States

Pictures of Sunny Leone, elephant, deer replace voters in UP voters list

The data operator, miffed over being transferred, had ‘deliberately tampered with the voter list’ in an act of revenge

The district administration of Ballia in Uttar Pradesh was left embarrassed after images of an elephant, a deer, a pigeon and pornstar-turned-Bollywood actress Sunny Leone found their way into a revised voter list uploaded on the government website.

The images were placed against the names of valid voters, whose original photos had been replaced.

The rest of the details, including the addresses, however, were intact. Among the 7-8 voters whose photos were found tampered with was Narad Rai, former minister in the Samajwadi Party government. The photograph of an elephant was carried against his name in the list, while a voter named Durgawati Singh had a photo of Leone representing her.

The voters belong to part 33 and 95 of the Balla Sadar Vidhan Sabha seat voter list.

The anomalies were detected during the inspection of the revised voter lists that were uploaded on July 15. The election commission is carrying out the process of demarcation of voting booths and integration of voter lists, which are scheduled to be published on September 1.

Additional District Magistrate Manoj Kumar Singhal told The Hindu as per initial probe, the anomaly was attributed to the mischief of a data operator, who changed the photos of at least four voters in a fit of revenge as he was “aggravated over being transferred” out of the constituency.

Case against data operator

UP Chief Election Officer L. Venkateshwarlu also said that as per the probe the data operator in the district, identified as Vishnu Dev Verma, had “deliberately tampered with the voter list” with the aim of “corrupting” it.

Mr. Verma was believed to be “disturbed” after he was transferred from Ballia constituency on charges of assaulting a lekhpal, said the UP CEO in a statement.

Mr. Singhal said that a case has been lodged against Mr. Verma, and his services have been terminated. Mr. Verma faces charges of cheating by personation and forgery of valuable documents under Sections 419, 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Singhal said the errors in the list have been corrected and will reflect in the updated list to be published on September 1.

The CEO has also ordered a high-level probe into the incident and directed all districts to inspect their lists and correct all such errors before the final publication.

Mr. Rai, who found his photograph replaced with that of an elephant, however, said the action taken against the data operator was not enough and that all other officials “through whom the voter list was passed” should also be punished. “The district administration is to be blamed for this. Such lapses have become common under the rule of the BJP. Voter lists are being made in a haphazard manner,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 2:54:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pictures-of-elephant-deer-sunny-leone-replace-voters-in-up-voters-list/article24780630.ece

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